Dialogue with stakeholders

Maintaining a continuous dialogue with its stakeholders is an important part of ICA’s sustainability work.

The most important stakeholder groups are customers, employees, owners, independent ICA retailers in Sweden, franchisees in Norway, suppliers, government authorities and a number of NGOs. These groups have different expectations and place different demands on ICA’s sustainability work.

Customers

  
Key issues
  •  Food safety
  • Climate change
  • Additives and chemicals in products
  • Green, ethical label and healthy product range
  • Healthy lifestyle
  • Working conditions in production
  • Locally produced food
  • Food waste
Dialogue/activities to manage these issues
  • Annual customer surveys
  • Customer contacts in stores, through social media and through ICA’s Call Centres
  • Information in ICA’s customer magazines and on the Group’s websites
  • Display material in stores
  • Product labels, e.g. organic, eco-label, Keyhole label, ethical label
  • Descriptive product information, e.g. the hangtags on ICA’s ethical label products
  • Up-to-date healthy product range, including the ICA “Gott liv” (Good Life) and “Fri från” (Free From) ranges
  • Follow-up of requirements relating to working conditions
  • Local adaptation and variation of the product range in the stores.

Employees

  
Key issues
  • Opportunities for skills training and professional development
  • Strong leadership
  • Good working environment
  • Diversity

Dialogue/activities to manage these issues
  • Annual employee survey
  • Performance reviews
  • ICA School and ICA’s Good Business values
  • Values-based leadership, where the HR department supports leaders with coaching, relationship building and employees’ career development
  • Preventive wellness, including a strategic health programme in Sweden.

Owners

  
Key issues
  • Integrated and strategic sustainability work
  • Monitoring of ethical issues and responsible conduct in the value chain
  • Food safety
  • Long-term profitability
Dialogue/activities to manage these issues
  • Annual board review of governance, sustainability risks and opportunities
  • Meetings and reports on shared sustainability issues
  • Response to investors’ questionnaires
  • Continuous coordination and follow-up of items such as key performance indicators.

Retailers, franchisees

  
Key issues
  • Environmental management
  • Quality management
  • Food safety
  • Energy efficiency in stores
  • Food waste
  • Value-added products, e.g. organic products and products with eco labels and ethical labels
Dialogue/activities to manage these issues
  • Quality coaches who visit and assist stores with the introduction of the Swedish standard for food handling in stores and ICA Retailers for the Environment. An annual audit in respect of the Swedish standard for food handling in stores
  • Reduce energy consumption in stores by providing tools, solutions and ideas for new and existing stores
  • Information and training activities with quality coaches, store intranet, etc.
  • Daily contact with the stores through ICA’s Call Centres and sales managers
  • The magazine “ICAs Goda Affärer” (ICA’s Good Business), which covers sustainability issues
  • Training for store employees via the ICA School
  • Continued development of the range of organic products, eco products and products with ethical labels.

Suppliers

  
Key issues
  • Responsible sourcing and social responsibility
  • Food safety
  • Local purchasing
  • Climate impact
Dialogue/activities to manage these issues
  • Quality audits, environmental audits and social responsibility audits of suppliers
  • Training in social responsibility and environmental issues
  • Activities and tools to support local entrepreneurs, such as web-based tool for ICA Sweden’s stores with a list of approved local producers
  • Supplier contact through ICA’s Call Centres
  • Stakeholder dialogues on a specific topic; in 2013 these included working conditions for berry pickers in Swedish forests.

Authorities

  
Key issues
  • Food safety
  • Product safety
  • Public health
  • Environmental issues and climate change
Dialogue/activities to manage these issues
  • Meetings with authorities, researchers and politicians, e.g. during Almedalen Week
  • Responses to public enquiries
  • Supervisory inspections
  • Participation in the government’s consultation groups on promoting a focus on sustainability and health among Swedish companies
  • Participation in seminars and lectures
  • Stakeholder dialogues on a specific topic; in 2013 these included working conditions for berry pickers in Swedish forests.
NGOs   
Key issues
  • Sustainable fishing
  • Responsible sourcing and
    social responsibility
  • Climate change
  • Sustainable palm oil and soy
  • Animal welfare
  • Additives
Dialogue/activities to manage these issues
  • Periodic meetings with partners and other organizations
  • Partnerships with NGO’s
  • Participation in networks and trade organizations, e.g. BSCI, GSCP and ETI
  • ICA’s commitment to Global Compact, Caring for Climate, Global Social Compliance Program, etc.
  • Stakeholder dialogues on a specific topic; in 2013 these included working conditions for berry pickers in Swedish forests
  • Activities for a sustainable product range, including organic products, green products, products with ethical labels and sustainable palm oil and cocoa
  • Contributions to animal welfare.